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New paper addresses opioids and children, adolescents

July 26, 2019

Washington- The National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center has a new resource for health care providers on pain management for children and adolescents.

The paper, Opioids and Children and Adolescents: Information for Oral Health Professionals, provides best practices for care on drugs to recommend before prescribing opioids and information about prescribing opioids with caution and being aware of the potential for misuse or abuse. It also discusses the importance of understanding laws and policies pertaining to opioids.

The paper advises oral health professionals to help parents by suggesting they:

  • Learn about the effectiveness of non-opioid medication to manage oral pain.
  • Know their child’s or adolescent’s pain medications.
  • Keep track of their child’s or adolescent’s use of pain medications, and ensure they use only the prescribed amount.
  • Discard unused medications.
  • Safely store medications in a locked cabinet in your home.
  • Talk to their child or adolescent about the risks of opioid addiction and points them to the National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens website.

The paper is a companion to the 2018 OHRC release of Prescribing Opioids for Women of Reproductive Age: Information for Dentists, which provides an overview of pain management for dental procedures for women of reproductive age and discusses pharmacological considerations for pregnant women. The publications were supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

For more information, visit the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center website.